When we last experienced a DRIPPIN comeback, the boys were cavorting around a camping site spouting some nonsense about a “free pass.” Their debut year hasn’t exactly been consistent, but they’ve released a few excellent tracks. Sometimes you just have to dig a bit to find them.
After a lengthy hiatus, the group returns with a hard swerve toward edgier material. “Edgy” in boy group language often means shouty shouty shout-a-thon, but Villain is cut from different cloth. The track merges its puffed-up-chest cockiness to a funky electro beat and swinging chorus. There isn’t a single element within the production we haven’t heard countless times before, but it comes together to form a strong, enjoyable track. I’m a bit disappointed that DRIPPIN’s title tracks have leaned toward such generic tropes (you can do better, Woollim!). However, they’ve leveraged those tropes in ways that make for satisfying results.
Villain is perched over a cool, bubbling bass loop. It almost reminds me of Boys’ Republic’s fantastic The Real One from years ago. The sound isn’t as prominent here, and verse two is predictably interrupted by one of those pesky percussive breakdown. But, there’s a fullness to Villain’s arrangement that gives DRIPPIN a sturdy backbone to work with. Similarly, the song’s hook is simple but potent. I’m not doing cartwheels of excitement over the refrain, but the catchy repetition is already stuck in my head. For their part, DRIPPIN lend the melodies plenty of panache. When main vocal Hyeop lets loose during the finale, Villain unveils hidden potential. Every element could have been twisted into something bigger and more unique, but I have a feeling Villain will find a long-lasting home on my playlist.